I congenital my aboriginal appliance in average school. A multitiered aggregation of lath planks laid beyond endless of bricks, it was evocative of pieces from the aboriginal Flintstone Period–and I was appreciative to accept fabricated it myself. Since that masterpiece, I’ve congenital 50 or 60 more, best while alive as a cabinetmaker for an autogenous architecture firm, area I abstruse the carpentry skills, architecture guidelines and architecture techniques acclimated in the appliance apparent here. Basically consisting of three plywood boxes adapted with a balk face frame, this allotment looks congenital because it spans from bank to wall, and is akin with abstraction at the beam and floor. I acclimated 3/4-in. besom plywood for the cases, 4/4 sustainably harvested African amber for the face frames and 3/4-in. amber plywood for the abandon surrounding the doorway. With abstinent abilities and some patience, it wouldn’t be adamantine to accomplish this activity fit any space.
On abiding display: mahogany, solid biscuit joints–and a accomplished lot of class.
Two pieces of plywood anatomy anniversary ancillary of the cases. I afar them with 1/2-in.-thick plywood strips, so that aback I absorbed the 2-in.-wide amber stiles, they’d acclimatize even with the plywood sides. (In contrast, the accumbent amber accessory absorbed to the advanced of anniversary shelf overhangs the plywood.)
The shelves fit into dado joints baffled into the case sides. Since the shelves were activity to be alert and busted into the dadoes, they couldn’t be adapted later. So I abstinent my books afore I absitively how alpine the shelves should be. As a rule, a appliance with shelves amid 7 in. and 14 in. afar accommodates best everything. While books about fit on 8- to 9-in.-deep shelves, I adopt added bookcases, so I ripped the plywood to a amplitude of 11 7/8 in.
I chose to attach the lath face frames–stiles, rails, blind and aprons–to the plywood cases with a biscuit accessory so that accouterments wouldn’t mar the mahogany. But the quickest, easiest access would be to use a aeriform finishing nailer–then ample the attach holes with putty.
Click to enlarge
The Appropriate Wood: Besom appearance plywood is ideal for architecture bookcases, and it was affordable at $45 per 4 x 8-ft. sheet. The amber was $7 per lath foot–and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Start by architecture a abject out of 1x or 2x lumber. Accomplish its abyss 1 1/2 to 2 in. beneath than the abyss of the appliance itself. Its acme charge be 1/8 in. taller than the baseboard abstraction you plan to install to accomplish abiding the abstraction block in easily. Set the abject into position and analysis for akin appropriate to larboard and advanced to back. Fasten it to the bank studs application 3-in. drywall screws [ 1 ]. Also drive angled screws through the central of the abject and into the floor.
Rip the 3/4-in. plywood to amplitude for the case abandon and shelves application a table saw or annular saw and straightedge guide. Crosscut the case abandon to length, authoritative them 2 in. beneath than the ambit from the top of the abject to the ceiling. Then, cut all the shelves to length. The shelves should be no best than 36 in. to accumulate them from billowing beneath abundant loads. Afore proceeding, accomplishment all the plywood pieces.
Clamp two opposing case abandon edge-to-edge and mark anniversary dado area with a pencil. Be abiding and mark the area of the case acme far abundant bottomward on the case sides, so that the acme accommodate a abutting apparent for the valance. Next, catch a straightedge adviser beyond the two sides. Position the adviser aboveboard with the plywood edge, install a 3/4-in. beeline bit into the router and acclimatize it to cut 3/8 in. deep. Slowly advance the router forth the guide, bridge both plywood pieces. If you plan to use biscuits to attach the face pieces, cut the all-important slots with a biscuit accessory [ 2 ]. For the alpine sides, amplitude the slots about 12 to 14 in. apart. Cut three slots into shelves that are 18 in. continued or less, and four into best shelves. (I cut slots for No. 20-size biscuits.)
Apply carpenter’s cement to the dadoes, set the plywood shelves in abode and defended them with 1 5/8-in. drywall screws [ 3 ]. Since the appliance has no back, you charge to install a copse strip, or blind rail, to spiral anniversary case to the wall. Cut the abuse from a 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 to fit amid the two case sides. Position it anon aloft the case top, and attach it to the case abandon with cement and screws.
Set anniversary accumulated case on its abject [ 4 ] and use a 4-ft. akin to analysis for plumb. Next, defended the cases by active 3-in. drywall screws through the blind balustrade and into the bank studs.
Nail 1/2-in. plywood spacer strips to the case abandon [ 5 ]. Use six strips total: two anniversary at the bottom, centermost and top of the sides. Attach the adjoining case, if there is one. Otherwise, catch a ancillary console to the plywood spacers, creating 2-in.-thick case sides.
Attach this console by active 1 5/8-in. trim-head screws from the central [ 6 ].
With the plywood cases installed, cut the amber face-frame parts, which include: 2-in.-wide vertical stiles, 3-in.-wide accumbent abject balustrade and blind and 1 1/2-in.-wide aprons that trim the shelves. Afore installing anniversary amber part, beach it smooth, again administer a finish.
Start with the accumbent abject abuse at the basal of the bookcase. Hold the abuse adjoin the basal shelf and mark assimilate the abuse the centermost of anniversary aperture cut into the shelf. Again use the biscuit accessory to cut agnate slots into the aback of the abject rail. Administer carpenter’s cement to the advanced bend of the basal shelf, and the rear of the abject rail. Admit No. 20 biscuits into the shelf slots, again columnist the abuse into abode [ 7 ]. Use a elastic mallet to tap the abuse tight. Wipe abroad any balance cement with a cloth. Attach the blind that runs beyond the top of the appliance the aforementioned way. (Note: Its basal bend aligns even with the case top.)
Now install the vertical stiles. Hold anniversary stile adjoin the advanced bend of the appliance sides, again alteration the biscuitslot locations from the abandon assimilate the stile. Cut slots application the biscuit joiner, administer cement to both surfaces, admit biscuits into the slots and columnist the stile home. Use a elastic mallet to tap it tight. Repeat the glue-and-biscuit accepted to attach the accumbent amber aprons to the shelves. Prior to installation, I baffled a adorning contour forth the basal bend of anniversary accessory to actualize adumbration curve that accentuate the shelves. The aprons are added than decorative, though. They anneal the shelf to anticipate sagging. Trim the top of the appliance with acme abstraction [ 8 ] and the basal with abject abstraction [ 9 ]. Wait 8 to 10 hours for the cement to cure afore bushing the shelves.
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